Saturday, July 31, 2010

Doers and Commentators

While some people are busy doing things, others make excuses for not doing them and explain what's wrong with what the others do, even if it takes more time or energy to complain than actually do the job. Doers and whiners. But not all non-doers are negative. There are positive talkers, who give ideas for others to implement. They don't implement their own ideas either because they [think they] can't, are afraid of failing, find it hard to make the first step or are plain lazy.

Some professional pairs have an inherent doer vs. commentator nature, like politicians and journalists, sportsmen and fans (OK, this is not a profession), or playwrights and theater critics. But not all is black and white. Some politicians don't do much themselves, but criticize the rival party. Some journalists write articles and books presenting their own ideas. Sportsmen may criticize their spouse's cooking while avoiding the kitchen, sports fans may be good at planning family trips, playwrights may be wine connoisseurs and theater critics may be good gardeners.

While in general we are either doers or commentators, in different cases we may act as either one or the other type. I'm not saying which one you should be, just advising to choose your side consciously.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Individual and National Happiness

We are hard wired on analyzing and improving our imperfections. It's enough to look at my close family members to realize it. Dan is dieting for 5 weeks now and lost 1 kg every week. Peter follows in his footsteps and also takes UltraShape treatment.

If a child brings a high and a low grade, we always focus on the low one. Now comes positive psychology and tells us to focus on the aspects that make us happy and content and implement them on weaker areas. This new branch of psychology is also called the science of happiness. Turns out that happiness is also measured at the national level and we are the 8th happiest country out of 155 surveyed, preceded only by North European countries, New Zealand and Costa Rica. Not bad.

I wonder if the survey took into account my weekend depression. All this dieting needs me to prepare and box food for every workday of the week, so I spent most of the weekend in the kitchen.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Domestic Intelligence

I love to watch National Geographic Channel programs on nature, plants, animals, the Earth... Unfortunately I live in an apartment with not too much nature in it. We have Venus the cat reign the house and a few herbs in boxes and flowerpots on the balcony. One of them is mint. Initially, it grew very fast and developed beautifully. It absorbed lots of water and I was happily trimming it for tea, salads and cooking. Lately, however, it weakened, lost leaves, grew no new shoots and didn't absorb water. I also noticed some black "tears" around it. When I analyzed the poor plant more closely I saw five fat, disgusting caterpillars expertly hanging on the delicate branches and exercising those excellent camouflage skills I so admire on NG programs. Had to admit they look way cooler on TV than on my beloved private mint. I cut the branches together with the caterpillars, but was too disgusted to even sweep them away so I sought assistance from the only male awake at that time in the house, Dan. I made a serious face and told him 'we have NG animals on our balcony'. 'Lions, elephants, gnus?' he asked amused. He left his PC (a small miracle) and managed to place the branches into a nylon bag and into the garbage it went.

Just like in the caterpillar case, we also had a few fridge-related symptoms. Ice cream melted, some steaks got spoiled, milk and cream cheese turned sour. Everything happened boiling frog gradually, while we kept making excuses.  Friday afternoon, after we filled the fridge with a week's worth of products and was too late to call a technician, we finally realized the fridge has stopped cooling completely. Oh, and I've also invited people for coffee and cake on Saturday and made a delicious mango parfait...

We had the facts, but misinterpreted them and failed to see the big picture. Just like the Israeli Intelligence prior to the Yom Kippur war.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Four Wheels and an Engine

I know very little about cars. I'm not interested in their technical specifications, and if asked what car is so-and-so driving, I'll say 'green'. No idea what make or model. I've always said I don't care about car makes, any four wheels and engine that take me from point A to B is good enough. Until my leased Ford Focus went to the garage for a small reparation and I got a Chevrolet Optra as a substitute. It's much less comfy, has less features and it made me realize I want much more from a car than just four wheels and an engine.
It also made me think about the progress achieved since Henry Ford made his first assembly-line, famous Model T. Now, we are on the verge of a new era with Israeli entrepreneur Shai Agassi introducing electric cars. You can find many more videos of him explaining his idea by googling for his name + electric cars in the video category. Go Shai, we are proud of you!